This submission will trigger an investigation, and both the report and investigation could play a key role in helping you hold the dog’s owner liable and recovering compensation in a claim or civil suit.
Understanding Ohio’s Dog Bite Reporting Law and Procedure
Under Ohio law, the dog bite victim must file a report within 24 hours of the incident. You can file a bite report incident with the local health commissioner. If you have not filed this report, the doctor who treats your dog bite-related injuries must file it.
A veterinarian who sees a dog involved in a bite incident must also report the bite. If the bite occurred in Columbus, Ohio, or greater Franklin County, you could contact any of the following entities to speak to a representative and report the bite:
- Animal Care & Control
- Columbus Health Department
- Franklin County Public Health
For a free legal consultation, call (614) 538-1116
Why You Should Promptly Report a Dog Bite
Waiting to file the report past the 24-hour deadline violates state statutes.
In addition, reporting the bite often pairs with a visit to the doctor. Getting medical treatment is important after an animal attack, as dog saliva can carry multiple kinds of dangerous bacteria. Seek medical help as soon as possible.
Recoverable Damages in an Ohio dog Bite Case
The recoverable damages in an Ohio dog bite case differ depending on your specific losses and expenses. If our firm handles your case, we will collect documentation to prove your related damages as a part of our investigation into the incident and your injuries.
You may be eligible to recover compensation for:
- Medical treatment and ongoing care: For any medications, lab tests, hospitalization, surgery, or follow-up doctor’s appointments you needed
- Lost wages and benefits: For the tips, bonuses, and other income you couldn’t earn
- Lost future earning capacity: For the money you won’t be able to earn
- Pain and suffering: For the discomfort and pain your dog bite injury has caused you
- Mental anguish: For the trauma you experienced from the dog bite incident
- Disfigurement: If your dog bite injury has changed your appearance or restricts your mobility
If your loved one lost their life to a dog bite, you could recover damages for loss of services or consortium, final medical costs, and funeral bills.
You May Be Eligible to Hold the Dog’s Owner Liable for Your Injuries
Ohio Code Chapter 255 allows you to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the dog’s owner to recover your incident-related expenses and losses. Even if the dog has no history of viciousness or other bad behavior, this is true. Some states have a policy that requires a history of threatening or biting.
States that follow outdated common laws limit the victim’s ability to pursue a payout. Ohio, however, has a modern policy that holds the owner responsible for even the first bite, per Ohio Revised Code Section 955.28.
If the dog’s owner has homeowners or renters insurance, this policy may cover dog bite damages up to the policy’s limits. Beyond that, the dog’s owner will be personally responsible for paying for the money awarded by the court.
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Take Prompt Action Before the Evidence to Support Your Case Disappears
While reporting your dog bite injuries as soon as possible is important, identifying and analyzing evidence in your case is not enough. With that said, hang on to all documents related to the accident and get witnesses’ contact information, if possible.
You must also abide by certain timelines to secure damages. Ohio law generally only gives us six years to file a case in civil court in most instances of dog bites. After that time expires, you could lose the right to pursue compensation in court. A child victim of a dog bite could have more time, though.
How Else You Can Protect Your Case Right After the Dog Bite
Taking a few small steps could make a big difference in how much compensation you can receive for your dog bite accident.
We recommend that you:
Stick to the Treatment Plan Your Physician Has Created for You
After you seek medical treatment, your physician may construct a treatment regimen for you. You must follow their orders exactly. So, take all your medications and follow up with your doctor.
Adhere to the plan until it is finished, as your doctor will release you when they see you fit to return to your routine. If you stop treatment against your doctor’s advice and/or knowledge, your injuries may worsen. If the insurance company finds out, they might devalue your claim and refuse to pay for your future care costs.
Record Your Pain and Healing in a Journal
Recording your recovery will give us a timeline of how your condition progresses. You may want to include details, such as:
- Your pain levels and if they fluctuate throughout the day
- Your mental and emotional states
- Your physical capabilities
- How your work has been affected
We encourage you to be as specific as possible to give the insurer a clear picture of how much your injuries have impacted your way of life.
Consider Consulting Our Law Firm for Representation
Working out the legalities of a dog bite case can easily become overwhelming, and the stress of related tasks could end up hindering your recovery. For these reasons, you may consider retaining our legal services. While you’re in treatment, one of our dog bite attorneys can:
- Gather evidence, including the incident report, photos of your injuries, and medical records
- Name the liable dog owner
- Take charge of all correspondence with the other party’s legal team and/or insurance company
- Ensure the insurance companies do not act in bad faith
- Handle settlement negotiations
- Represent you in a trial if settlement negotiations don’t work out in our favor
Our lawyers work on a contingency fee, so no upfront or out-of-pocket fees are involved. We only get paid if we obtain compensation for you.
Get in Touch With Bressman Law for Help With Your Dog Bite Case in Ohio
Our principal attorney David Bressman has served personal injury clients for more than 30 years. We know what it takes to win a dog bite case and build an argument for negotiating a payout or taking your case to trial.
Once you have reported your dog bite, call today to talk about your dog bite injury in Ohio. This way, we can get started on your case, and you can get started on your path toward justice. Dial Bressman Law at (877) 538-1116 for a free consultation.